Beyond fruitcake: Eight foods that can be stored for years

Story highlights

  • 106-year-old fruitcake was found on Antarctica in "excellent condition"
  • Honey has staying power because it is low in water and high in sugar

The news that, after 106 years, Captain Scott's fruitcake was found by the Antarctic Heritage Trust and "smelled edible", raises the question: are there other foods that have similar staying power? The answer is, yes, several.

1. Honey

    In 2015, archaeologists reported that they'd found 3,000-year-old honey while excavating tombs in Egypt, and it was perfectly edible. This durability is thanks to the unique features of honey: it is low in water and high in sugar, so bacteria cannot grow on it. Honey also contains small amounts of hydrogen peroxide, which inhibits growth of microbes. This is partly why bees produce it for the young in their hives -- it is both food and protection.
      Foods that double as medicine